Full Impact Pro of Florida decided to be ambitious this weekend for their annual trios tournament. Instead of inviting the best teams in the country they invited various indie promotions to send their best to compete in the two night event. When all the booking was said and one, sixteen different promotions from around the United States said they wanted to participate. The lineup featured the very best of lesser known promotions and wrestlers on the independent scene. For once it seemed like the purpose of the tournament was not just to win but to also make an impact with the eyes of the wrestling world directed toward southern Florida.
Full Impact Pro
Fallout Night 1
October 23, 2015
Ybor City, Florida
Team Tier 1 (Sunny Kiss, Rudeboy Riley & Alex Mason) vs. Team PWX (John Skyler, Corey Hollis & Ethan Case)
The opening match took some time to get going as the teams felt each other out. Once everyone felt comfortable with each other everything kicked into a higher gear.
The story of this match was one as old as time, a unified front vs. bickering partners. Ethan Case was never able to get on the same page as his PWX brethren and, despite an incredible performance by the big man, that turned out to be the difference between victory and defeat for his team.
Don’t let his feminine charms fool you, Sunny Kiss of Tier 1 is a twerking and wrestling machine. A fair comparison for Kiss is Yosuke Santa Maria from Dragon Gate. Like Santa Maria, Kiss backs up his outlandish persona with his incredible ability as an athlete. He is a performer to watch in the northeast.
I’ve seen Corey Hollis perform at several ROH shows in Nashville. I thought he was a steady hand but nothing special. That was before he completely overhauled his in ring persona. Hollis now carries himself with a cool, unhinged vibe. Combine that with an unorthodox offense and Hollis is the kind of character Dean Ambrose should be.
Getting back to the match, after a miscommunication between Case and Hollis Team Tier 1 picked up a pinfall victory courtesy of a Kiss split legged moonsault. ***1/2
The Viking War Party (Jake Parnell, Alexander Rudolph & Frank Wyatt) vs. Team Ronin Pro (Mike Monroe, Trevor Read & Edward Malken)
The Vikings stormed out of the back before the opening bell and left a path of destruction in their wake. Alexander Rudolph chokeslammed every man in sight. Jake Parnell was a human lawn dart, highlighted by an insane dive from the Orpheum second floor balcony.
The rest of the match followed the chaotic opening overture. Each team took turns destroying the other with tandem moves and suplexes. Edward Malken of Ronin Pro debuted his feared Nipple Plex on the big stage, but the move the match was the Vikings double chokeslam/flying double knees combination that earned them victory in a wild, wild brawl. ***¼
Team AWE (Jimmy Rave, Chip Day & Murder One) vs. Team FIP (Gary Jay, Evan Gelistico & Austin Blackburn)
Unlike, the first two matches this one felt more like a traditional tag. Team AWE successfully cut Austin Blackburn off from his corner and went to work on him. That gave me some time to get a good look at what the trio from northern Georgia could do. Murder One and Chip day wrestle like they veterans they are. Both know the appropriate pace to work and the right moves that correspond with said pace. The standout of the group was former ROH star Jimmy Rave. Derided for his poor performances in the late 2000’s, Rave seems to have reinvented himself on the southern indies as quick and crisp worker.
Team FIP is the temporary name for the Submission Squad during the tournament. The St. Louis based stable is best known for a being a punchline jobber team all over the midwest, but make no mistake these guys are veteran workers who rarely have a bad match. Their silly shenanigans early in the contest provided an excellent mental cooldown following the overstimulation caused by earlier fights.
The early control period by Team AWE eventually made way for a more competitive closing stretch. Following a diving elbow strike by Gary Jay on Murder One and a pair of stereo dives on Rave and Day by Jay and Gelistico, it looked Team FIP was home free. Austin Blackburn scored the pinfall but not without controversy because it appeared that the official only counted to two. Despite the confusing finish this was a well worked tag match between two veteran units whose contrasting styles worked well of each other. ***
Team Trans-South Wrestling (Peter Kassa, Chase Brown & Kameron Kade) vs. Team I Believe in Wrestling (Aaron Epic, Josh Hess & Rhett Giddens)
Peter Kassa and Rhett Giddens tried to up each other during the frantic first few minutes of the match. Giddens charged forward and leaped directly over the ring ropes with an impressive dive for a man with his larger build. Seconds later Kassa flying in with a back handspring twisting senton! However, after the early fireworks the match did not pick up in intensity again and seemed stuck on cruise control.
After a breakout weekend with EVOLVE just one week ago, Peter Kassa tried to hard to make another impact. He rushed through many of his moves and on more than one occasion looked like he was one awkward landing away from putting himself in the hospital.
Josh Hess made a good impression during the match. He wrestles in a style that is very reminiscent of heels from an earlier era, majority of his offense is punches and stomps to an opponent who can barely defend themselves. Hess comes across as downright disrespectful to everyone in the ring and he even blew a snot rocket at one of his opponents. Of course, his behavior did bring about some karmic retribution.
A misunderstanding between Hess and his partners gave Team Trans-South an opening. After clearing the ring, Kade and Kassa drilled Hess with a military press/cutter combination which then led to the 1-2-3. **¾
Hess continued his disrespectful behavior after the match when he berated his teammates for shaking the victor’s hands. Team Trans-South put the boots to him and Chase Brown proceeded to powerbomb him on, I kid you not, a pile of cauliflower!
FIP World Champion Caleb Konley came to the ring and had an ax to grind with FIP management. According to Konley, the visitors in the locker room disrespected him and as FIP’s champion he expected better treatment. During Konley’s lament Jody Kristofferson came to the ring and the two got into a verbal altercation that resulted in an impromptu title match.
FIP World Heavyweight Championship Match
Jody Kristofferson vs. Caleb Konley ©
A spontaneous title match where the champion has to prove his worth was something I loved about watching ECW when I was a kid so this match was right in my wheelhouse.
Kristofferson gave Konley all he could handle and then a little more. Only a lucky leapfrog by Konley over his charging challenger, who ran face first into the turnbuckle, gave him an opening. Even with an extended amount of time on offense, Konley was not able to put much of a dent in Kristofferson, but the challenger was not able to put away the champion either and only garnered a handful of near falls. Finally, Konley was able to escape by the skin of his teeth thanks after putting Kristofferson down for the count with a Samoan bomb.
This felt like an above average television main event that gives the champion a little credibility but keeps him vulnerable as well. Good stuff. ***
Team Maryland Championship Wrestling (Lio Rush, Ken Dixon & Joe Keys) vs. Team WWA4 (Odinson, Stitch Osiris & Black Barron)
So far, most of the matches on the show have been less tag contests and more exhibitions of what every wrestler brings to the table. This one continued that trend.
Lio Rush of MCW and Stitch Osiris of WWA4 are cut from the same cloth. Both are smaller wrestlers with great quickness and a talent for bumping. Rush displayed a proficient striking game as well.
Joe Keys of MCW is a traditional all-arounder who has the best exaggerated move outside of the Young Bucks’ Five Star Back Rake, devastating elbow drops to the knees! During the entire spot I was laughing so hard that I scared my poor cats.
Team MCW advanced by pin thanks to a Rush frog splash that was a real thing of beauty. ***
Team Proving Ground Pro (Kerry Awful, Nick Iggy & Jake Dirden) vs. Team ACW (Sideshow, Jason Cade & Jayson Falcone)
This was a dandy of a match. Team Proving Ground Pro has a creepy vibe and works well together as an old school heel unit. They dominated most of the match by isolating Sideshow from his teammates and putting an old school whooping on him. I loved how Team PGP took the time to land a few cheap shots on Sideshow when referee’s back was turned. All of that built to Sideshow making the inevitable hot tag to Jason Cade.
What happened next was the most impressive flurry of offensive I’ve seen all year. Cade quickly cleared the ring and then headed up top to deliver a springboard 450 double stomp on the outside. He instantly popped right back up, headed for the Orpheum stage and drilled a somersault senton on his opponent below. The entire sequence was positively breathtaking.
After Cade’s explosion, all hell broke loose in the ring and the official in charge lost control of the match. In the chaos two unknown men attacked Sideshow and Cade. Team PGV took advantage and triple teamed Falcone. Dirden’s dreaded Asiatic Spike was good enough to send his team into the next round.
Between Team PGPs teamwork and Cade’s dare devil antics this match was one of the standout bouts of the night. ***½
The Slambinos vs. Canadian & Colossal
This was a special exhibition match for Florida based promotion Ring Warriors.
Overall, this was nice change of pace and a good filler match. Each team worked a very simple style and did not try anything crazy. The Slambinos got the won after some outside interference. **
Team Inspire Pro (Davey Vega, Jojo Bravo & Steve O’Reno) vs. Team Freelance Pro (Chris Castro, Matt Knicks & Isaias Velazquez)
Every so often a wrestling match comes along and reminds me that I’ve yet to see everything that could possibly transpire in the squared circle. This match featured Chris Castro and Jojo Bravo battling to a drawn in a hadouken duel. Also, Bravo wrestled the entire match wearing a sleeveless jean jacket.
Comedic antics aside, this was a nice little competitive match that featured a number of creative double teams. Team Freelance Pro picked up the win with a package piledriver/double stomp combo. ***¼
Team IWA: Mid-South (Trik Davis, Reed Bentley & John Wayne Murdoch) vs. Team Outlaw Wrestling (Bull Bronson, Devin Cutter & Mason Cutter)
On Twitter I describe this match as beautiful mess and I stand by that statement. The match started with a broken laptop and spilled all over the venue. Hell, it even went out into the streets of Ybor City. Someone actually had to direct traffic while the wrestlers brawled in the middle of the road. Once the action returned to the building it didn’t let up. The Cutter Brothers pulled out six folding chairs and invited everyone to sit down. For the next few minutes a group of six grown men went around in a circle and knocked each other silly.
By the time the officials were able to persuade each team to get into the ring any pretense of this being an actual wrestling match was thrown out the window. Weapons were pulled out from under the ring and the violence level quickly escalated into non-PG territory. Team IWA: Mid-South won after Reed Bentley put one of the Cutters through a table with an assisted super Canadian Destroyer.
This match is a reminder that sometimes work rate and psychology are overrated. A wild brawl can be just as entertaining as a mat classic. ****
Final Thoughts: The buzz online right after the event ended was that this was a show of the year contender. I wouldn’t go that far, but night one of Fallout was the most fun I’ve had watching a show all year. No two matches were alike and all the talent involved got a chance to show the world what they could do. I wager that plenty of wrestling fans are going to lose time looking up the different wrestlers and promotions featured during the tournament because the event opened up an entirely new corner of the American independent scene for many of us to explore.